Nestlé Wins SC Case vs Similar Milk Brand

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Supreme Court (SC) has ruled in favor of a multinational firm, food and beverage manufacturer Nestlé, in an infringement case it filed against a locally-owned distributor of a milk brand supposedly similar to the one it produces. In a 20-page decision penned by Justice Antonio Carpio, the high court reversed two earlier rulings by the Court of Appeals and ruled that Nestlé’s registered trademark for its infant powdered milk with brand “Nan" was infringed by a “confusingly similar" milk brand called “Nanny," distributed by 5M Enterprises.

In its ruling, the SC said the use of the brand “Nanny" would imply that it is also manufactured by Nestlé, since it exactly has the first three letters of the brand name of the milk product produced by the giant food and beverage manufacturer. The high court also ruled that the milk products branded “Nanny" have the same classification, descriptive properties and physical attributes as Nestlé’s “Nan" products, making it difficult for consumers to tell the difference between the two brands.

The same SC decision reinstated the original 1998 decision of the Cebu City Regional Trial Court Branch 9, which favored Nestlé’s case against 5M.

Andreo C. Calonzo/JV, GMANews.TV

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